Monthly Archives: September 2011

Isca Stieglitz – Insider trading? It’s not Alessio Rastani or Goldman-Sachs I’m worried about!

Funny isn’t it? Greens – we’re predominantly ‘anti’ capitalist, are deeply suspicious of anything
remotely ‘businessy’ (unless it passes ‘green’ muster), and certainly question the motives of those
involved in it…or at least until ‘someone’ says exactly what we want to hear. How quickly the leap is
made, how quickly the scrutiny stops and how quickly we latch onto people who wouldn’t ordinarily
get our time of day.

However, with a whiff of ‘conspiracy’, a sniff of ‘rule the world’ and a large helping of ‘we told
you so’, (when all that’s been stated is the bleedin’ obvious), and we’re there posting and hosting
like we’ve just discovered something ground breaking – no checking, no research, no search for
provenance – the complete suspension of scrutiny and the hanging on the every word of bloke no
one knows. Ah, but he’s a ‘trader’ so he must know stuff and now he’s gone on telly and shared
seemingly (not!) big secrets, well, we can obviously trust him.

I’m not saying I trust Rastani or not, I don’t know enough at this stage to make that decision and
that’s the point, neither does anyone else. I wonder about the mind of someone who jumps so

So, ‘Greens Engage’ are meant to be concerned with antisemitism…oh no please don’t say we can’t
criticise Goldman-Sachs coz it’s got Jews in it! Of course not, bad practice is bad practice and should
be exposed, but if minds jump too quickly, you never know who you can end up in bed with.

Questions to self – why are lots of people so willing lose all rational thought and, in some cases, all
of their self-purported academic prowess and believe a ‘trader’ so quickly – traders are by definition
‘chancers’ right?!

Here’s a sprinkle of what’s out there in ‘webland’; some more trustworthy than others!

Forbes questions Rastani directly.

Zerohedge questions the notion of Goldman-Sachs ominipotence.

eFinancial News asks who Rastani is.

William D. Cohan was ‘there’ first!


Towards ‘negative conspiratorial’ for me.

A word of warning to be mindful.

Check for this, and then you know you’re in the wrong bed.

On Goldman Sachs.

One Voice on a negotiated end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Received by email.


Dear supporter,

The Palestinian plan to request UN recognition of its statehood has created intense controversy and challenged OneVoice. How should we position ourselves on the UN initiative? How could we place it in a broader perspective? And most importantly, how could we play a positive role in shaping the aftermath?

OneVoice always strives to bring ordinary citizens into a constructive conversation about the conflict and to mobilize them for action. During this tense period, we continue to work to reduce the frustration and pessimism on both sides and channel people’s energy into nonviolent actions that advocate for a two-state solution – the only stable, viable, and peaceful future for the beleaguered people of Israel and Palestine. No matter how the UN initiative is resolved, that will remain our course.

Only good faith negotiations will produce a mutually acceptable, comprehensive and permanent two-state solution – of that we remain certain. President Mahmoud Abbas agrees, having said last week, “Our first, second and third priority is negotiations. There is no other way to solve this. No matter what happens at the United Nations, we have to return to negotiations.” He also added, “We don’t want to isolate Israel but to live with it in peace and security. We don’t want to delegitimize Israel. We want to legitimize ourselves.”

OneVoice Palestine (OVP) launched its campaign to support the Palestinian bid with the primary intent to mobilize thousands of Palestinians behind the two-state solution. Their activities will lay the basis for nonviolent and constructive responses in the aftermath of the vote. OneVoice Israel (OVI) will soon begin their own campaign to keep the two-state solution alive, spotlighting the potential benefits for Israel of recognizing a Palestinian state living side by side in peace and security with all its neighbors.

Our Israeli activists are urging their leadership to take positive actions that can turn the UN initiative into a win-win for both sides and rekindle negotiations. Prominent members of Israel’s political and security elite, including OneVoice Israel board members, believe that a resolution that addresses issues of concern to Israel and paves the way for renewed negotiations would preserve the country’s interests and the two-state solution.

With our Israeli and Palestinian teams, we reached an unambiguous conclusion: Bringing the vision of a Palestinian state closer to realization is vital to counter absolutist agendas. We have watched with alarm the growing Palestinian disillusionment with the two-state solution, which threatens a peaceful and stable future for Israelis and Palestinians. We have seen growing frustration on both sides at the lack of tangible progress, all set against the backdrop of worrying developments that endanger the security of the entire region.

OneVoice continues to advocate for a negotiated resolution to the conflict, and we hope this Palestinian initiative can produce positive developments that are far superior to stagnation and prevent a steep deterioration into violence and extremism.

Already, OneVoice Palestine’s campaign shows encouraging results. Thousands have visited OVP’s Web site and read our common message that supports a negotiated two-state solution. Nearly 60% of them agreed that the Palestinian bid will help realize this goal. We will send updates of our activities and their impact over the coming weeks and welcome your questions and reflections. Thank you for your continued support.


Howard J. Sumka

OneVoice is an international grassroots movement that aims to amplify the voice of Israeli and Palestinian moderates, empowering them to seize back the agenda for conflict resolution and demand that their leaders achieve a two-state solution. For the latest updates, join us at

Please consider signing this e-petition, asking the British government to recognize Palestine as a state and support its admission to the UN in September, as a step to reviving direct negotiations.

Is this really what Greens want to affiliate to?

This post is by Jessica Goldfinch, Norwich Green Party

A lot of organisations can start off with the best of intentions and then it seems some can morph,
over time, into something that is ugly and more worryingly, ‘acceptable’.

Racism becomes acceptable; violent words become acceptable; sharing platforms with known
racists, Holocaust denialists, annihilists and antisemites becomes acceptable. The drip-drip nature
of it allows this to become an acceptable norm. It remains unchallenged and the original cause is
muddied and becomes ugly.

This process can apply to any group and my experiences of being part of my local ‘Anti-Apartheid’
group applied to me. The goal was clear – One man, one vote. If this was achieved, the face of South
Africa would change at the very first free elections. I joined boycotts; I took part in protests; wrote
letters and joined in direct action – all good, all very innocent. Then it turned very ugly.

The anti-white racism grew, the language became violent and threatening, boycotts turned into
witch-hunting and denying opportunities for on-the-ground cooperation – I cannot speak for the
entire Anti-Apartheid movement obviously. People laughed openly about extreme violence against
white citizens. Everything ‘black’ was good and everything ‘white’ was bad. Rational thought turned
to ‘black and white thinking’ – oh the irony.

My turning point came when I found out that a blind-eye was being turned away from the internal
politics within the townships and slums. The internal punishment culture, given tacit agreement
by some known township activists – people being macheted or ‘necklaced’; women being raped;
children being abused; drug and people trafficking; inter- and intra- tribal violence; the killing of
pygmies. These are, of course sadly, common occurrences within the context of grinding poverty,
discrimination and alienation within any group – but not acceptable. There were no trials or internal
legal framework; people simply disappeared and their crimes? In a lot of instances, associating with
white people and often associating with joint peace projects.

Where is my evidence? Sadly, I’ve been unable to find documentary evidence for all my points.
This is based on verbal accounts from all sides and was talked about quite openly within our group
from people who had lived there and I was stunned to find this going unchallenged and that our
donations were not monitored, so, down the chain we were funding and supporting these violent
activities. I left.

Of course, the fall of Apartheid was a fantastic achievement but to ignore torture and abuse for the
sake of expediency and the ‘bigger picture’ is unacceptable to me. Not confronting, in a rational
way, lends tacit agreement and support. Not many groups are immune from this ‘blindsight’, the
Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) and Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign (SPSC) included.

Sadly, the recent postings on PSC websites are not a surprise to me. It’s been building since
inception, drip-drip, unchallenged from within and so ‘acceptable’.

One can choose to trust the sources or not, but following the links within leads to the original and
makes it pretty clear.

If I’ve said it a hundred times – I do not support violence and racist practice and that includes in
Israel or any dodgy groups associated with it and I am not part of groups that do this and challenge
any internal discrimination when I see it. However, I am weary of trying to just get a fair view of
Israel in these sites. All is evil with no redeeming features.

“It’s not all of us; of course I don’t support that person…this person…you mustn’t forget the overall
cause; some of what s/he says is true; every group has it’s bad apples; just ignore them; they don’t
speak for us all;…” so says a member of the PSC? No, that was me in the 80s; sunlight came in and I

Mira adds: the PSC featured quite prominently in Green Party conference promotion (for example, in the advert in Green World, the party members’ magazine). Sheffield Palestine Solidarity Campaign have an official Green Party Autumn Conference fringe on – uh-oh – September 11th. I wonder, will this fringe succumb to the temptation to ‘commemorate’ the acts of terror against US workers by attempting to implicate Israel? I wish I didn’t find it so likely – perhaps somebody could let us know. At any rate, the obviously antisemitic are promoting this fringe. Bad company for the Green Party.

See too this on Palestine solidarity campaigning, by Aled Dilwyn Fisher.

Jess adds: Julia Bacha’s TED Talk, ‘Pay attention to non-violence

Dafni Leef’s speech to Israelis in State Square

Yesterday over 400,000 Israelis massed in squares around the country, the most populous of Israel’s protests to date.

Dafni Leef founded the tent camp which began Israel’s summer of protest. Here is her speech to the Israelis massed at Tel Aviv’s State Square , translated in a hurry but very eloquently by Robbie Gringas. From it,

“We have begun a new discourse, a discourse of hope, of sharing, of solidarity and responsibility. I want to ask the Prime Minister, to ask all the politicians: Look at what happened here, at what is happening here – is this what you want to defeat? Is this something you are able to defeat? You are the People’s representatives. Listen to the People. This protest, that gave so much hope to many people – do you want to break this hope? Is that what you want? To melt down the hope? You will never succeed!

And after we jumped all the hurdles and all the spin didn’t succeed, what did they have left? To attack me. This thing started with one person who did something. I set up my tent on Rothschild out of a personal feeling of to be or not to be. A person very close to my heart, Alex, put an end to his life. He was a poet. He wrote that even if you have a heart of gold, you will not manage to change the world. Two months before all this started up, he couldn’t be here any longer, and he chose not to be.

How can a person like that, a dreamer and an idealist, feel that he no longer has a place in this world? If he has no place in this world then I suppose I have no place here either. And my heart hurt. My heart was broken. What kind of a world is it that has no room for dreamers, idealists, poets? What kind of world cuts them out? A world of poverty. Because all of us are dreamers and we all have the right to dream. To be poor isn’t only not managing to make it to the end of the financial month or to be homeless. To be poor is to be troubled by these things, fundamentally, to such an extent that you are not able to dream, to think, to learn, to hug your children.

So I started this thing. But just because I started it doesn’t mean it’s mine only. It’s not just my story, it’s the story of many people who stood up and started walking, stood up and began to do something. We all decided to be. We decided to be here. Here we are.”

Read it all.

HT Ma’ayan

Israeli Philharmonic vs. Dismally Shrillmoronic – no contest

Jessica Goldfinch writes of the disruption of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra proms performance last week:

Considering IPO has links with these folks, it is clear who is for co-operation and peaceful activities:

This is what beauty looks and sounds like. It’s not a music-wash, it’s peace
in action. What a melding of the sounds – east, west, shared arabic roots!
We should be investing our energies into these types of activities.

Whilst SPSC and PSC and their GPEW supporters engage in protests, violent
words and ignoring evidence, they miss all of this beauty and the rest of
real folk on the ground are getting on with the business of ‘Real Progress’.